What started as a home-based business in Midtown by Coleman Whitsitt, Grivet Outdoors is now one of the fastest-growing retail companies in the country. He started it with a goal of providing easy access to outdoor equipment and recently opened its third retail store on Oct. 30 in Germantown.
Opening the new store was a special opportunity for Coleman. As a Germantown native, he says the store will provide an opportunity to create relationships within the community where he was raised.
“It’s 10 minutes down the road from where I grew up,” Coleman said. “We have a large impact on the community wherever we go. We’re able to do clinics at gyms and sponsor events; we’ve already sponsored some GPAC events. It’s pretty special to be in Germantown.”
Having operated his company both online from his home and through in-person stores, he has noticed key differences between the two platforms. Selling solely online felt more like moving product rather than creating a connection with customers.
Coleman was determined to bring the outdoor shopping experience he had seen traveling the western United States to Memphis. After gaining enough brands (like Chaco, Patagonia and North Face) to offer a variety of apparel, shoes, camping, and hiking gear, he opened the first Grivet Outdoors location in Cooper-Young and then a second store in Olive Branch.
“If you came to my house there were boxes everywhere. You had to scoot sideways to get anywhere,” Coleman says. “But we opened the store in CooperYoung and just went from there.”
“I was always traveling to experience things outdoors,” he continues. “I’d go to places like Colorado, then come back to Germantown wishing I could experience what I did out there right here.”
Coleman says Grivet Outdoors focuses on building relationships in its stores rather instead of making it about a transaction. For him, building long-lasting relationships with communities is the most beneficial way for his company to operate—and also leaves customers much more prepared for their future adventures.
Memphis has grown hungry for outdoor equipment. With two new climbing gyms and improved outdoor areas at MeemanShelby State Forest Park and Shelby Farms, there’s a need for product and the guidance on how to use it properly.
Grivet Outdoors employs roughly 70 people and is looking to hire additional employees for its new location. Coleman says it’s an exciting experience for those with a genuine interest in the outdoors.
“The company is growing insanely quickly,” Coleman says. “Every employee we hire right now has tremendous opportunities. Our retail director we have now was hired as a part-time employee just a few years ago.”
Find out more about Germantown’s newest gem at Grivetoutdoors.com or visit them at 9067 Poplar Avenue.
By Blake Fussell